Colorado Shooting Suspect to Make First Court Appearance

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The man charged with 10 counts of murder after a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Thursday.

Initial court appearances, like the one on Thursday, can often last less than five minutes. The judge will read the suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, his rights and a description of the charges against him.

Because of the seriousness of the charges, the judge, Thomas Mulvahill, will almost certainly not set a bond that would allow Mr. Alissa to be released while awaiting trial.

“Everything is going to slow way down because it’s a huge case,” said Ann England, a clinical professor of law at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder.

Law enforcement officials have said that Mr. Alissa, 21, was armed with a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun during the shooting and was wearing an armored vest. Investigators said he began the rampage in the parking lot of a King Soopers grocery store and had then made his way inside.

According to an arrest affidavit from the Boulder police, Mr. Alissa bought a Ruger AR-556, a short-barreled variant of an AR-15 carbine, just six days before the shooting.

He is charged with killing 10 people, including a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene. In Colorado, the charges carry a penalty of life imprisonment without parole. Mr. Alissa has been booked in the Boulder County Jail and is being represented by a lawyer, Samuel Dunn, through the public defender’s office.

Under ordinary circumstances, the district attorney would file charges within 48 hours of the initial appearance, and another hearing would be set for the judge to determine whether there was enough evidence to move forward. But in a high-profile case like Mr. Alissa’s, it could take a week to file charges, and possibly a month or more for a preliminary hearing to take place, Ms. England said.

There are some uncertainties about Thursday’s hearing. For one, it is unclear whether Mr. Alissa will appear in person. Because he was shot and wounded in the leg during the shooting, his lawyers could ask that he not appear in the courtroom.

If Mr. Alissa speaks at all, it will probably only be to say that he understands his rights and the scope of the investigation against him, Ms. England said.

“They’re going to really read you your rights, take a glance at the affidavit, and then off they go,” Ms. England said.

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